El ID R Pikes Peak than french Romain Dumas will drive on June 24, 2018 in the test "Pikes Peak International Hill Climb" features the most sophisticated powertrain ever developed by Volkswagen Motorsport.
Volkswagen's first fully electric racing car features two integrated and interconnected lithium-ion batteries, located to the right and left of the cockpit. These feed separately two high-performance motors for the front and rear axles. Together, they provide a power of 680 hp.
The true power level is electronically controlled, depending on the point of travel. This means that the ideal neutral behavior for a racing car is achieved, for example, when accelerating out of a tight corner, as the front wheels also have to transmit steering force to the asphalt in addition to delivering power.
“We are breaking boundaries with the ID R Pikes Peak: it is the first time that Volkswagen will compete with a fully electric car. Together with the elaborate aerodynamic concept and the special requirements of the sports chassis, the development of the electric powertrain was the biggest challenge ”, says François-Xavier Demaison, technical director of Volkswagen Motorsport.
On its own, the ID R Pikes Peak produces up to 20% of the electrical power required for the 19,99-kilometer run. The engines, which would otherwise power the car, function as generators during braking. This regeneration process allows them to generate power that flows back to the battery, and also contributes in part to the braking performance itself. A conventional braking system provides the required additional deceleration. The “brake-by-wire” system of the ID R Pikes Peak is the prerequisite for this. "The interaction between regeneration and the mechanical brake is controlled by electronic systems that the pilot does not even notice", explains Marc-Christian Bertram, head of electrical / electronics at Volkswagen Motorsport.
When Dumas releases the accelerator or brake pedal during the most famous climb in the world, the movements are not transmitted by cables, but digitally with e-gas and “brake-by-wire”, a braking system with transmission of power. electronic signals.
With the drive technology of the ID R Pikes Peak, Volkswagen Motorsport took a leap into the void. “It was a huge challenge for our entire team of engineers. We had no experience in electric motors in a racing context, we had only a seven-month window for development, and we could only do tests on the real course at the end of May. "sums up Bertram. The tension will remain in the air as Dumas tackles Pikes Peak with the aim of setting a new record in the electric vehicle category. The current record is 8m57s118.
Volkswagen engineers can be sure that they have provided the best possible preparation. During the development of the batteries for the ID R Pikes Peak, they also benefited from the expertise of the technical departments for electric mobility at the parent company in Wolfsburg and the Pre-Production Center (VSC) in Brunswick.
"Volkswagen's technical development has workshops and laboratories to carry out stress tests on batteries"Demaison relates. “First, we do tests with individual battery cells and modules. In a racing car, you have to keep in mind special requirements for wiring and insulation. Volkswagen already has plenty of experience in high-voltage technology, and being able to take advantage of it was a great help. "
The engineers did not simply adhere to the strict safety regulations of the International Automobile Federation for Formula E and hybrid cars of the category LMP1 competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. "During the development of our battery systems, we used strict testing processes from development to production."adds Bertram.
In any case, the chief engineer of Volkswagen Motorsport was aware of the work being done by his colleagues from development for production, focused on the future family of ID models, whose first range will reach the market from 2020.